Pierre opens up the question of what is a daemon in the Platonic world. Since Plato has emphasized rational daemons (such as the daemon, Love, in his Symposium, we have studied these before. Tonight Pierre reviews these, but also asks, what, then, is an irrational daemon?
Note: Pierre later shared with me that he was not satisfied with tonight's talk, and that the talk he prepared and gave two weeks later on February 7th was much better organized and thought out.
What are daemons?
Love (as a daemon: intermediary between gods and men) and various objects of love
Some qualities associated with daemons: desire, power, skill/craftiness, determination, etc.
The necessity for Plenty and Poverty with Love
The irrational character of some daemons
Reading from Proclus (actually, Taylor) below for some help.
The last/final/ultimate/minimal trace, shadow, vestige of the Logos
Daydreams therefore as irrational daemons
A rational daemon is philosophy
Philosophical midwifery (Pierre's invention) is a rational daemon
Handout for tonight
Below is the brief excerpt from Proclus', Theology of Plato, which Pierre brings in a Xerox for tonight. (Proclus' actual Book 7 was lost to history, so Thomas Taylor, the translator and platonist, wrote his own Book 7 (the final book) to fill in. Thus, this quote is Taylor's writing, as what he thought Proclus most likely to have written, to sum up the work.) Pierre brings in the below two paragraphs from Book 7, Chapter 45. (The bold-facing is Pierre's). In the Prometheus Trust edition which we use (ISBN-13 9781898910077), these 2 paragraphs appear on page 614.
In the next place, with respect to irrational demons, it remains to investigate how they subsist. For if they derive their subsistence from the junior Gods, how, since these are the fathers of mortal natures, are these demons immortal? But if from the demiurgus how are they irrational? For he is the father of things in conjunction with intellect. This doubt is beautifully solved by Proclus as follows: irrational daemons derive their subsistence from the junior Gods, yet are not on this account mortal, since of these Gods some generate others. And perhaps the generated Gods are called by Plato, in the Timaeus, demons, because those that are truly demons are produced by the junior Gods. But they likewise proceed from the one demiurgus. For as Timeeus says, he is the cause of all immortal natures. If, however, the demiurgus imparts intellect to all things, there is also in irrational daemons an ultimate vestige of the intellectual peculiarity, so far as they have a facility of imagination; for this is the last echo as it were of intellect. And on this account the phantasy is not improperly called by others passive intellect.
Lastly, after essential heroes, an order of souls follows, who proximately govern the affairs of men, and are daemoniacal according to habitude or alliance, but not essentially. These souls likewise are the perpetual attendants of the Gods, but they have not an essence wholly superior to man. Of this kind, as we are informed by Proclus in his MS. Scholia on the Cratylus, are the Nymphs that sympathize with waters, Pans with the feet of goats and the like. They also differ from those powers that are essentially of a demoniacal characteristic in this, that they assume a variety of shapes (each of the others immutably preserving one form) are subject to various passions, and are the causes of every kind of deception to mankind. Proclus likewise observes, that the Minerva which so often appeared to Ulysses and Telemachus belonged to this order of souls.
A/C hum/buzz up to 0:00:40.
Pierre gave most of this talk before going on to tonight's dream-work, after which he returned for about another 5 minutes of talk about daemons, and promised to continue with part 2 on that subject next week (as well as to continue with our treatment of Homer's Iliad, at Book 23 where we left off last week). So I spliced the second 5-minute part in, which was after the dreams, and this is the fade-out/fade-in at 0:35:27.